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SHORT-LIVED ZAND DYNASTY       379
except Jafar, who had previously made terms with the
Conqueror.
The Reign of All Murad^ A.H. 1196-1199 (1782-1785),
—Ali Murad was now ruler of Persia and transferred the
seat of government to Isfahan. From this centre he
directed operations against the Kajars. At first his son
Shaykh Ovays was successful, capturing Sari and defeating
the Kajar chief. But the commander sent in pursuit of
the beaten foe became entangled in the defiles, and his
force was cut to pieces. This disaster threw the main
body into a panic. Sari was abandoned, and Mazanderan
was evacuated in disorder.
Ali Murad, after punishing the runaways, raised a
second army for operations in Mazanderan, which he was
supporting in person when he heard that Jafar had revolted
and was marching on Isfahan from Zanjan. Although he
was ill and the season was mid-winter, Ali Murad insisted
on returning to Isfahan, but died on the road at Murchi-
khar, the scene of the second defeat of the Afghans by
Nadir. Ali Murad was highly thought of by Aga
Mohamed, who used to say, "Let us wait until that
respectable, blind man (Ali Murad had lost one of his eyes)
is out of the way, and then, but not before, we may succeed
if we advance into Irak."
Jafar,A.K. 1199-1203 (1785-1789).—Jafar now came
forward on the pretence of restoring order and invited
Shaykh Ovays to Isfahan to ascend the throne. With ex-
traordinary folly the young Prince trusted the man whose
father had been murdered by his own father, and entered
Isfahan ahead of his army. There he was seized and
blinded.
The protagonists in the struggle for the throne of
Persia were now Aga Mohamed and Jafar. The former
marched south as far as Kashan and after defeating the
army sent against him advanced on Isfahan. On his
approach Jafar fled to Shiraz. Aga Mohamed now
abandoned his true objective for minor operations in the
Bakhtiari country, from which in the end he was driven
back in disorder to Teheran. Jafar thereupon marched
north again and retook Isfahan. He then engaged in a